Cotswold Life gallery: Meet our readers' pets
PUBLISHED: 09:50 06 September 2017 | UPDATED: 09:50 06 September 2017
From an underpants-stealing saluki-cross to a labradoodle with a wiggly bottom, where would we be without our four-legged best friends?
Heather Henthorn with Lilith
Lilith aka ‘Lily’ is a retired rescue greyhound who had a poor start in life and somewhere along the way lost her tail. When Heather adopted her from Cheltenham Animal Shelter she was in poor condition, despite all the help they gave her. Her fur was brown and she was bald in places. However, after a short while of settling into her forever home, her hair grew back and her coat turned a gorgeous glossy blue colour. (She never managed to grow back that tail though!)
Lilith started to realise that things were being done purely for her pleasure, and she started to really enjoy her walks in the Cotswolds, her visits to May Hill and Batsford Arboretum...but most of all Lilith just adored a good old sunbathe in the garden!
Dominic Wood with Alfie
We got Alfie five years ago, pretty much at the same time as I took over The Maytime Inn in Asthall. He’s got the run of the place now, and regularly spends afternoons by the bar, or, in the summer, enjoying the sunshine in our beer garden. He’s got his own twitter page now, and guests are always keen to say hello to him!
Follow Alfie on Twitter: alfiemaytime
Paul Gates with Dino
Dino is a young and bouncy 18-month-old saluki-cross adopted from Sighthound and Lurcher SOS, based in Esher. Paul drove all the way from Gloucestershire to Surrey to get this lad, who in turn had travelled over from Dublin to find his forever home. Dino is full of life, totally mischievous but then fixes you with those amazing eyes and you just have to forgive him!
Dino likes stealing things and has even run off into the garden with Paul’s undies while Paul was in the middle of packing for a business trip to the USA...
Hayley and George with Digby
Digby is a Miniature Dachshund from Cheltenham who also goes by the nicknames of Digbeth, Diggerz, Pork Chop Jnr, Snufflebum and Rumplestiltskin – don’t ask!
Digby has no loyalties to his humans and will have a cuddle with anyone that’s offering. His favourite things are his grandparents, cuddles in bed, licking men’s beards and chasing squirrels, but he despises the rain, hoovers and cats.
His favourite walks are on Crickley Hill and through Pittville Park. Digby gets loads of attention when he’s out walking, with regular cries of ‘sausage dog!’ as he toddles on by, but he’s is far too interested in chasing his ball and squirrel hunting to take any notice. His best friends are Morris the Dachshund and Joey the Hungarian Vizsla. Digby has his own Instagram account and can be found @digbythedaxie.
Holly Davies with Skitty
My cat is called Skitty. She’s a 13-year-old tortoiseshell and is the most loving, affectionate cat. She makes me so happy, and sits on my head and purrs when I have a migraine to make it go away... in fact, she purrs very loudly and sounds just like an engine! She is very talkative and has a range of different noises to show how she’s feeling. I love her so much, and I love being a cat mum.
Jess Hannah with Piper
I live with my family in Painswick; my partner and I both grew up in the village, and are now raising our sons here. We have a real passion for outdoors life. Having a horse just on the edge of Painswick Beacon, we often head out and about with the dog, horse, bikes or on foot to explore and find a beautiful view to soak up and to get a moment’s peace.
The view from the beacon is particularly lovely on a sunny afternoon or evening; the sunsets are just stunning and on a clear day you can see for miles and miles, and even my little boys where lost for words on this day. They felt as though we were standing on top of the world!
Our young dog pictured here is our first: Piper. He is a one-year-old German short-haired Pointer and the biggest loveable clown you will ever meet. His favourite things in life are running, jumping, cuddles, and running some more...he never tires of it! He is my boys’ best friend and my loyal companion whom we enjoy exploring the beautiful Cotswolds with. We are so lucky to live here.
Sophie Keogh with Ted
My name is Ted and I have just turned one. I am a Fox Red Labrador and I live in Cheltenham with my owner, Sophie. Recently, I have been very busy helping launch a new Estate Agent, Winkworth, which is based on the beautiful Promenade, right in the heart of the town. I go to work every day and I absolutely love it! The office is super smart and I have an amazing memory foam bed that I spend most of my days snoozing on. I get to meet lots of lovely people and I even have a job title – ‘Office Hoover’ – which I obviously take very seriously.
In general, I’m an incredibly laid-back chap, however, the one thing I go crazy with excitement about is my tennis ball. I absolutely adore it! Sadly, I’m not allowed my ball in the office, though, as I try and play a really fun game where I throw it in the air and catch it, but as the oak floors don’t have any grip I end up crashing into things! I am a very lucky boy as I get to go on lots of walks around the parks in Cheltenham, as well as out into the countryside, which is brilliant. Everyone is my friend – human and animal (well nearly everyone… I do know a little grey tabby cat called Lily, who isn’t that nice as she always tries to bop me on the nose!).
My best friend is my sister, Ruby, who lives with Sophie’s Mum and Dad in Cirencester. She is super excitable, very friendly and great fun! She can be quite annoying though as she jumps all over me when she sees me, pulls my ears, takes my toys and steals my chews. She is the naughty one out of the two of us as she always eats things she shouldn’t, like the kitchen cupboards, stones, her bed, etc. The other day whilst we were on a walk, she even ate someone’s delicious picnic (so embarrassing), but despite her naughtiness, I still love her - she is my sister after all!
Jane Hanson with Barney the labradoodle
There’s so much I could tell you about my beautiful Barney. It was love at first sight and, even though we weren’t prepared at all for life with a puppy, his little face won us over then and still does today. He is very much Labrador in looks – the way he moults, and the way he sleeps at every opportunity – but he also has in abundance the intelligence and sensitivity of a poodle, and is most definitely ‘his own dog’.
He makes us laugh and makes us cry. He wiggles his bottom when he walks, and doesn’t like to get wet. If we want him to sit, he’ll stand… or to stay, he’ll go. If he thinks he’s going to miss something he knows straight away, and will shoot off like a rocket. He barks like he has no fear yet is spooked by his own shadow, and he certainly does not understand the game ‘fetch’. He’s also a very sociable dog, and loves to race across the field to meet other dogs. It is pretty exhausting trying to retrieve him, and it’s costing us a fortune in biscuits, so we are currently building a fence.
I have taken him to puppy training classes since he was little. He can do the most beautiful sit, perfect heelwork and will also wait patiently for food. However, although he has made plenty of progress over the years, at times I do not know how he has managed to earn his certificates. My wine bill has quadrupled and I need at least three hours on the sofa to recover after each class.
I know he drives us so often to distraction, but he is the softest, most loving and good-natured dog. When my husband lost his Dad last year, Barney would not leave his side. He was his absolute rock. We love him very much and, although life would be much simpler, far less stressful, messy and expensive, we could not imagine our world without him. Having Barney has been the best decision we ever made.
Suzie Bennett with Ted and Missy
Photos by www.writtenwithlightphotography.co.uk
Our first dog came into our lives eleven years ago: Ted a West Highland Terrier (named after my favourite comedy sketch). As a young couple moving in together and buying our first house, Ted was very much treated like our very own little baby. Our first house was in Quedgeley, as having Sharpness Canal on our doorstep appealed to us for dog walks and bike rides. Ted has grown up to be a friendly social dog who loves people, children and other dogs. But even to this day likes to tag you with his wet nose when he wants attention!
Missy our Lhasa Apso-cross-Ship Tzu (now 10) came a year after Ted. Missy was to be a companion for Ted. Missy has turned out to be a shy and loyal dog who has a need for companionship. Even to this day she makes me laugh with her cute little underbite.
Five years ago myself and my husband James got married with every intention of starting our own family and having a baby. Sadly, shortly after I suffered a minor stroke after an undiagnosed blood clotting disorder. It took me a year to get back to my normal self and I can honestly say that it was through the love of my dogs and support of my husband. I really did appreciate my dogs so much more during this time. Every day is a pleasure to walk my dogs and enjoy life, whether exploring Haresfield Beacon – which is exceptionally stunning in spring and autumn – or Frampton on Severn and the pretty village and green. A house is not a home without a dog.
Henry – pub dog at The Peacock
Henry loves to welcome other dogs to the pub (and try and persuade locals to feed him their lunch scraps).